Tragedy puts spotlight on campsite hooning problem

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Grey nomads camping at Teewah Beach
Camping at Teewah Beach is hugely popular. PIC: Sunshine Coast Daily

The problem of people ‘hooning’ in and around remote camping areas has been brought into the spotlight by the tragic death of a teenager in Queensland.

Tyreece Pilot, 18, was killed just over a week ago when the 4WD he was a passenger in rolled at the Sunshine Coast’s Teewah Beach. The driver escaped serious injury.

In the aftermath of the accident, a senior police officer has called for a ban on camping and driving on the popular stretch of beach.

In an open letter in the Rainbow Beach Community News, Rainbow Beach Senior Constable Mick Emery likened the popular camping ground to the ‘wild west’ and said it was a ‘big problem’.

The Sunshine Coast Daily reports that, in the letter, Sen-Con Emery asked: “At what stage do we make a hard decision in the interests of safety – and to the benefit of the natural environment – and close camping on Teewah Beach altogether?”

The police officer said it might be the death of Mr Pilot which finally sparked change.

“I know I won’t be popular for saying this but let’s be honest, Teewah Beach camping is a problem,” he said. “Of course, there are good folk down there who never cause an issue – and they will be adversely affected by their irresponsible counterparts … but no longer do we have the luxury of asking, ‘does someone have to die before we take this issue seriously?”

Road Policing Command officer-in-charge Shane Panoho told the Sunshine Coast Daily that motorists had long been abusing the privileges at Teewah and said some of their actions were ‘unacceptable’.

However, Sen-Sgt Panoho said police did not have the capacity to operate on the beach 24/7 and deal with the ‘young drivers creating havoc’.

“When you have young guys tearing around revving and what not, it ruins it for everyone,” he said. “Pull your heads in.”
Sen-Sgt Panoho warned that, if driver behaviour at Teewah did not change, restrictions could come into place similar to Fraser Island.

“It’s loved to death,” he told the newspaper. “We can and do impound vehicles and can restrict the public’s access, but if things don’t change, it may get to a point like Fraser Island, where access is far more restrictive.”

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14 Responses to Tragedy puts spotlight on campsite hooning problem

  1. What does camping have to do with ” hoon driving”
    Punish the “hoon’s ” not the campers

    • It has everything to do with camping because like all change it needs to start somewhere. There has been too little of this happening in past years and this is the result. Agree with the Police Officer – too much happens for the good of the few (hoops) make the changes – in the end we will all benefit.

      • So you had better stop driving buour car because of that analogy if one person gets killed on the new pad then ban ALL CARS omg

      • There have been hoons in my street.
        Please don’t tell Rose

  2. We have the same problem at Gunn Point here in the NT – there have been a few fatalities & injuries over the years from vehicle accidents along the beach – as yet there have been no restrictions on beach access but know it will be happening if people don’t stop abusing our current easy access

  3. We experienced “hoonery” at Calliope free camp just 3 weeks ago. A red neck, red ‘P’ plate driver did numerous donuts in the gravel right next to our camper which caused a large rock to smash the quarter panel window. This left a bad taste in our mouths and extra expense which we don’t need. It was reported to the police.

  4. Always the few spoil it for everyone else

  5. With the logic of closing the area because someone was killed, I’d expect to see many roads and highways being closed as well.

  6. Don’t punish everyone for the actions of a few. This action was caused by a driver on a gazetted road. Whether or not he was a camper is irrelevant. As a Gazette road it should be police responsibility to patrol this as any other road. If there are areas where hoons are active the police will target that area until the problem abates. I like the saying… this area is protected by a guard dog 3 nights a week…. you guess which 3..

    • The article on this accident states the rollover happen on the beach at 1.oo am. Do you want the police to be driving up and down the beach at that time of the night passed your camp site while you are trying to sleep? Or will that make you feel safe ? Police can only do so much, and while you sit there and watch these hoons racing up and down the beach it will continue.. If you think it is dangerous, use your ipad or phone and record what is going on and call the police . Other reports of the antics on this area indicate that it is about time they close this popular area until people realise that they too are responsible for the preservation of this camping area.. It is a good thing that the sand is soft . Because it makes it so much easier to bury your head and think it is someone else’s responsibility.

  7. No need to ban camping
    Many people drown from drinking. Do we ban swimming???
    Driving off road kills…. Do we ban off road driving ????

  8. We are ruled and restricted by beaurcratic Nannies and red tape because of a brainless and foolish minority..!

  9. people die in police custody do we need to ban police custody wake up and do your job if you know it’s a problem then fix it

  10. We’ve seen this stupid driving and yahooing on many beaches both in northern nsw and qld, teewah and the sand islands. Typical young fellows doing it for the same reason that they do it at home however it can be more deadly. The clustered camps where they drink to excess fuels it. The racing up the beach. The cops must be sick to death of it. We are, we wont camp there anymore in these places, they are fast makng it inaccessible and dangerous for all of us.

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